Sisterhood of the Traveling Scarf

By Dr. Neomi De Anda

My family moved at the beginning of my eighth grade year. For that reason, I never kept in touch with any of my childhood friends. We had no social media or texting or even cell phones, so keeping in touch with people long distance took some effort. I did exchange letters with one close friend, Cynthia Solis, whose family had moved the previous year. We were pen pals for about eighteen months before the correspondence faded.

Fast-forward about fifteen years and enter Facebook. I received a friend request from Cynthia. She was now living in Denver, Colorado, and I was in Chicago, Illinois. These two girls who were close friends in Corpus Christi, Texas, had now moved to two new places. We caught up over a couple of Facebook message exchanges and continued with our lives.

Neomi De AndaOne day, years later, I posted a newspaper article about a new faculty member at the University of Dayton. Cynthia quickly asked if I knew the person because she now lived in the Dayton area. I told her that not only did I know the person, but I had just returned home from an interview at UD. She kept my secret from February until April when I could publicly announce acceptance of this new position.

In July 2013, Cynthia met Martin, my husband, and I at a restaurant. I had not seen her in nearly twenty years! What crazy luck that we ended up living in the same area in Ohio. We were 12 years old when we were separated by distance. It took very little time for Cynthia and I to catch-up and our families to come to know and love one another. What a blessing! Cynthia’s family is part of my Dayton family. She was one of two local people I called when Martin was out of town, and I was having a miscarriage.

A couple of weeks ago, Cynthia and her husband informed Martin and I that they are moving. While the move is extremely positive for their family, my heart broke a little. Cynthia and I snuck a lunch together alone– a very rare occurrence. The day happened to be the day I wore the scarf. So, the traveling scarf now carries our friendship and story interwoven within it and one of the last times we will spend together while both living in the Dayton area. 

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